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2004, dir. Wolfgang Petersen
163 min. Rated R.
Starring: Brad Pitt, Eric Bana, Orlando Bloom, Brian Cox.

Review by Beth Baker

Iím going to go ahead and admit that my main reasons for seeing this movie were Brad Pitt and Orlando Bloom. Iím also something of an ancient history buff, but Iím not going to try and kid myself. Okay Iím shallow, but I couldnít resist the allure of hot guys in revealing armor. And on that count I was fully satisfied with Troy. Brad Pitt gets plenty of time to show off his buffed up body, and Orlando Bloom finally has the chance to show us some skin.

But I should have been careful what I asked for because in this movie I got way too much of it. I know Brad put a lot of work into bulking up for this movie, but his abs overshadow many fine actors.

Brian Cox, Sean Bean, Brendan Gleeson, Eric Bana (he was almost good enough to make me stop hating him for The Hulk), and Peter OíToole (Phantoms was the bomb, yo) were all well cast and turned in better performances than this film required.

Less impressive were Orlando Bloom (finally proving to all the drooling girls and jealous boyfriends that he really isnít more than a pretty face), Diane Kruger (she emotes two things during the entire movie: fear and sadness. What man wouldnít want a fun girl like that?), and Brad Pitt. Now donít get me wrong, heís great actor, but he should never try to do an accent ever again. I guess heís trying to do a British accent, but itís so inconsistent that itís laughable. I found myself just wanting him to shut up and be naked some more (hey, maybe thatís why he did it).

But this was not a movie meant to be carried by acting. When I saw the defending armies of Troy amassed in front of its walls I had to wonder, how the hell could that many people fit in there? I know itís a big city, but damn! Was everyone in the army? And the Greeks may have brought a thousand ships, but apparently each of those ships must have held a thousand men for the size of their army to make any kind of sense. With a war of that kind of magnitude would the part of Achilles really have been that important? Another sticking point is the time frame the movie appears to take place in. According to history it was three years from the time that Paris and Helen took off before the Greeks got their shit together for the war. The war itself supposedly took place over ten years. Now Iím no mathematician, but that seems like a long time. Troy plays out as if this all happened in less time than it would have taken ancient Greeks to even think of building a big wooden horse to hide in.

Troy is huge and epic just as it should be, and I can ignore the glaring historical inaccuracies (which I wonít even get started on to save myself from sounding like a total loser). If you go into it expecting nothing more than pretty brain candy than youíll be well satisfied. If you go into it looking for hot, scantily clad men youíll be more than satisfied. But if youíre looking for a re-enactment of The Iliad youíll be disappointed. I believe my exact word upon exiting the theater was ďEhhĒ accompanied by a shrug.


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